Shanghai, Round 2.

If you thought I had enough of Shanghai in 2009, you were utterly and completely wrong! I couldn't stand being away from the motherland, so I found a way to return! Alliance (my study abroad program) sent me an e-mail with an application to be a student ambassador at the upcoming 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. I knew my chances of being accepted were slim, 160 students out of all applicants! On a bleak and rainy day in December, while sitting in my Smith College apartment living room, typing my Economics seminar paper about Peru...I received an e-mail from the US-China Institute enlightening me of my acceptance into the USA Pavilion program! Unfortunately, I signed up for "second session" because of my graduation in May, so I am missing out on the opening ceremony. Oh well! Xiao Long Bao and Rou Bao, here I come (don't have Chinese on my work computer, sigh).

If you know me well, you know that I enjoy rambling about my new whereabouts and the latest buzz in whatever city I am in. From Beijing to Shanghai to San Francisco to New York City and now back to Shanghai, I have covered approximately a year and a half of my life (of course opting out of boring you about my last semester at Smith) through blogging. New York City (Chaos of Gotham) has treated me well and kept me entertained, more so than Smith, but I think I'm ready to head back to the constantly evolving, densely populated Shanghai. SHANGHAI ROUND 2!

What will I be doing as an ambassador? That, I cannot inform you of just yet, because I, myself, do not know. What I have heard: speak Chinese, shuffle people around, meet VIPs. I will notify you when I know.

Where will I be living? In EXPO VILLAGE! Just like in the Olympic Village at the Olympics. Apartments, which will be sustained after the Expo, have recently been built for ambassadors and volunteers alike. The following are some CGI photos of my home to be.

I am not too sure this is what it looks like as I have seen one small picture from an ambassador from Session 1.  Photo credit: Heather/Shanghai Shopgirl.

Am I paid? No. I am given a daily food stipend, which I hear is PLENTY as I lived off of $5USD a day easily last year. It is an all expense paid trip to China. Free flight, free living, free access to the Expo, and opportunities to meet VIPs. That's all I needed to hear to get me on board.

I am also in the process of planning my trip around South East Asia (Indochina to be more precise) including the exotic countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. If I have time, I would love to include India, Malaysia and Singapore. However, only having 6-8 weeks after the Expo, I'm not too sure I can even complete the initial four countries. Well you will find out with me!

I welcome your comments but rarely critiques. Got suggestions on what to do? Please, write. Got questions? Ask away. Got criticisms? Go away!

Please keep in mind, my personal style of blogging rarely includes edits. It's my "stream of consciousness" and I despise editing my thoughts to please you as this blog is for me to remember my personal journey and for you to ride shotgun.

 The monmunetal Chinese Pavilion.